Monday, December 5, 2011

Soft and Chewy Ginger Snap Cookies

Sunday morning my mom and step-dad, Jon, drove to Houston for Jon's upcoming surgery. We were all pretty shaken up about the whole situation, so to wish them well I decided to make them ginger snap cookies. I thought these would be perfect because for one, they would still taste great after a few days at the hospital and two, my mom and Jon are actually obsessed with all things ginger: candied ginger, gingerbread, ginger rice, ginger cookies, ginger beer (I could go on and on). I have trouble with scary/emotional stuff like this, so baking for people is the only way I really know how to express how I feel. Its basically the only thing that really feels right. Because what do you say really? All I can think of is "it will all be fine. have a cookie."

But regardless of why you are baking cookies, this recipe is definitely a keeper and perfect for the holiday season. I can't wait to make more when I go back home. I would make them at school but molasses isn't an ingredient one generally keeps in a college kitchen cabinet....

(and the crazy part of it all is, I really don't like ginger. at all! but I love these cookies) 

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
¼ cup molasses
2 additional tablespoons white sugar, set aside 

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and beat until lighter and fluffier. (you are finished with the mixer at this point)

With a rubber spatula, stir in the water and molasses

Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt

Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, making sure not to over mix

Freeze or refrigerate the finished cookie dough for at least 15 minutes so the dough is easier to manage. I found it easier to roll the balls if it was slightly firm. When I wasn’t working with the dough I put it back in the freezer so it wouldn’t get soft again.

With a tablespoon, scoop cookie dough and roll into a ball in the palm of your hands. Dip the dough ball in the additional sugar, making sure it’s fully covered. Then gently press the dough ball in your palms to make a small disk (this is how you ensure perfectly circular cookies without using a cookie cutter). An ice cream scoop may also be used instead of a tablespoon if bigger cookies are desired, but I personally think the tablespoon made the perfect size.

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